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Catherine Enculturated


Mercy womenMercy is a woman of indeterminate age
and unremarkable appearance.
She is not fussy about the company she keeps
And tends to be full of excuses for her friends
Having seen life from their angle.

Her heart, like her pockets, is capacious.
She has a voice rich in tender understanding.
But is at her best in silence
When she sits alongside
The grief-stricken and the guilty
And their sorrow seeps into her soul

Curiously, she sees herself reflected
In the eyes of both murderer and victim
So sits not in judgement but companionably.
She is a subtle teacher.

She makes strong cups of tea, cup after cup.
Her hands are worn by work
But eagerly sought by the dying.
Her feet are calloused from long roads
Trudged with refugee and beggar.
She is an endurer of all horrors.

Mercy has a face wrinkled by kindness
And worn by the cost of living,
But even in hovels she has been given to laughter
and awareness of simple pleasures.
She has a store of lore and wisdom
But is never heard to complain
That she's heard the story before,
Believing each teller to be
Entitled to a hearing as if to the one and only.

Mercy is a lady comfortable to be with
the safest and soundest
blessed in her being
with the indisputable reality
that she is true daughter,
in manner and mind
of the maker of the universe.

Mary Wickham rsm

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